For immediate release
Wednesday 27 February 2019
Help Preserve The Māori Rock Carvings, A National Treasure
The Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings in Lake Taupō, one of the North Island’s national taonga and biggest tourist attractions, needs your help.
Master carver Matahi Whakataka Brightwell is the artistic creator of the iconic Māori Rock Carvings, a towering 14 metre high sculpture of the great navigator and high priest Ngātoroirangi. This masterpiece is one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary contemporary Māori artworks.
Brightwell is wanting to lead a small team to improve and restore the smaller carvings that surround the giant carving of Ngātoroirangi in order to return them to their original state.
As well as the work to tidy and repair the carvings, there is the need to train a new generation of carvers for the artwork’s future maintenance as Brightwell is now in his 70s.
The sculpture of Ngātoroirangi, and the smaller sculptures of tūpuna (ancestors) and kaitiaki (guardians) nearby were created in the 1970s by Mr Brightwell and a team of four others: Jono Randell, Te Miringa Hohaia, Dave Hegglun and Steve Myhre.
It was at the request of Mr Brightwell’s grandmother, Te Huatahi Susie Gilbert, who asked her grandson to create a likeness of Ngātoroirangi to create a permanent connection for her family to the land. With no suitable totara tree available, Mr Brightwell journeyed on to Lake Taupō for inspiration.
The importance of the sculpture to Mr Brightwell, his iwi and to the Taupō district has spanned generations, with tourists from all over the world travelling out on the Lake to take a picture of his masterpiece.
Nowadays the sculpture is one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary artworks and a major drawcard for visitors to the area. It is also a major representation for the Māori people of New Zealand in the tourism sector.
As most acclaimed artists know, acquiring enough funding to create and restore can be a struggle, so we are asking New Zealand to ‘Give a Little’ to help with the renovation and restoration of the Māori Rock Carvings which will take place over the next few months.
Please New Zealand, let’s ‘Give a Little’ to help Brightwell restore and preserve this beautiful national Taonga.
Donations are welcomed at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/give-a-little-to-help-a-nz-treasure.
Chris Jolly Outdoors is an established local tourism operator who have been providing unparralled outdoor experiences for Great Lake Taupo visitors for almost 40 years. Their main operations are providing scenic cruises and fishing experiences on Lake Taupo. They also provide guided biking, walking and hunting experiences throughout the region. Visit www.chrisjolly.co.nz for more information.
For more information, images and media enquiries contact:
Chris Jolly Outdoors
P| 021 254 0760